What Counties in New Mexico Allow Tiny Houses – Rules and Regulations You Need To Consider

new mexico

Tiny houses are affordable and sustainable housing options. In New Mexico, several counties have embraced the trend and allowed for the construction and placement of tiny houses. However, potential residents need to be aware of the specific rules and regulations that come with living in a tiny house community or buying a tiny house. From building codes to applications for new residents, there are factors to consider before moving to a tiny house in New Mexico. Additionally, communities need to adhere to the guidelines outlined in Appendix Q of the new International Residential Code.

Tiny House Prices in New Mexico

The price of the tiny house model plus the small work needed to prepare the site, like clearing a space, laying up a gravel pad, and connecting utilities, the budget is between $164 and $447 per square foot. However, for every living style and budget to let you move closer to your living project, you can look at tiny houses for sale in New Mexico.

What Counties in New Mexico Allow Tiny Houses?

Different kinds of tiny houses are allowed in New Mexico; however, municipal laws and ordinances, especially zoning rules, determine the kind of small house built in a given area. Whether you can live in your tiny house on wheels full-time in New Mexico depends on the county or city you live in. Some communities enable tiny homes on wheels (THOWs), while others do not authorize THOWs at all. Some designate THOWs as recreational vehicles throughout the state.

Hidalgo County

In Hidalgo, New Mexico, and notably in the city of Rodeo, tiny dwellings have been approved and there are rumors of a tiny housing town under construction.

Bernalillo County

It is possible to turn a tiny home on wheels into a legal residence in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, by obtaining a certificate of occupancy. It requires permission to secure the house to a foundation. Living in a small house on wheels in Bernalillo County requires that your tiny home be constructed following the ANSI RV norms and residential code requirements.

Tiny House Regulations And Rules In New Mexico

Building a tiny house is a fulfilling endeavor, but it also calls for careful planning and compliance with local laws. New Mexico offers a promising environment for people looking to get involved in the tiny home movement due to its clear instructions and positive mindset. The following are some elemental aspects:

  • The municipality’s unique requirements, which are relevant to the location or construction of the tiny home, should be researched and followed.
  • Consult the New Mexico Residential Code and confirm that small dwellings satisfy the criteria, especially those provided in Appendix AQ.
  • Consider Albuquerque a possible site because of its welcoming attitude toward tiny dwellings and particular construction laws and guidelines.
  • In the state, examine the potential of relocating to a small house neighborhood, such as the recently proposed small house residential subdivision.
  • Look into private residential sites with community amenities for sale or lease.
  • When selecting a site, consider the effect on current residences’ property values.

Permanent Structure Rules

Tiny houses are accepted as a legitimate housing choice in New Mexico and classified by law as single-family, non-mobile buildings that are 400 square feet or less. Accepted by the state The International Residential Code (IRC), Appendix Q specifies the size range for small dwellings between 120 and 400 square feet. Tiny homes are categorized as recreational vehicles when built on a chassis with a permanent axle, and they need to be licensed and adhere to the applicable regulations.

The adoption of IRC Appendix Q by New Mexico shows the tiny house movement by providing precise criteria for tiny homes constructed on foundations. Following the New Mexico Residential Code is essential for homes. It includes Appendix AQ, which addresses air leakage rates, loft requirements, building standards, and mechanical ventilation.

For instance, the city of Albuquerque adheres to regulations for permanent tiny homes. These include having a permanent base, hot and cold running water, sanitary facilities, a minimum room size, and a specified size external door. The city is known for being supportive of tiny home living, which may draw those considering this way of life to it.

Temporary Structure Rules

Tiny houses built in New Mexico or elsewhere and imported into the state are often required to meet the New Mexico Residential Code specifications for domestic or foreign manufacture of dwelling units. It includes the New Mexico Residential Code’s Appendix Q.

Tiny houses constructed on chassis with a permanent axle are considered recreational vehicles and require special licensing and restrictions as long as the axle is there.

Remove the axles and set the unit on a foundation; it must comply with code standards for houses placed on permanent foundations.

Transitional Structure Rules

The New Mexico tiny home does not have any state-wide regulations about transitional structures. It is up to local governments to set the regulations for their construction.

However, the state’s willingness to accept new architectural styles and its emphasis on inexpensive housing raises the possibility of transitional small-house designs, particularly in communities like Roswell that are debating zoning amendments to make room for them.

In New Mexico Where Can I Build A Tiny House? 

Your small house’s location is crucial to helping you navigate the procedure, handle all the paperwork, guarantee that your home satisfies tiny house building guidelines, and choose a certified small house builder.

Tiny home construction is an undertaking, but if you plan, it does not have to be unpleasant. The usual sites for tiny homes are:

  • RV parks
  • Tiny house communities
  • Private properties
  • National Parks and campgrounds

Tiny House Communities in New Mexico 

Reside in an intentional community to have access to resources and foster personal development. Check out small home villages and intentional living communities in New Mexico, or better yet, build your tiny house community in the Land of Enchantment.

River Edge Tiny Home Village

In River Edge Tiny Home, renters seeking a suitable location in New Mexico to lawfully park their tiny house on wheels apply at 50-amp and 100-amp tiny houses, and off-grid small homes are welcome in this tiny house community. The lots at River Edge are roomy, offering enough for two cars to park and the option to create a garden and a shed if desired.

Caballos de Las Estrellas Community

They provide possibilities to lease a spot for your small house to sell individual residential sites. The best part is that you can use all of the community facilities, whether you buy or rent. While there will be fantastic events and celebrations all year long, there are no requirements for communal meals, job schedules, chore lists, or hours.

Tiny Home Village

Tiny Home Village is a tiny house community focused on the housing issue in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A stringent selection and screening procedure are completed to become a resident of this tiny town. This tiny home village wants to build a strong network of community support that will accompany its residents after they leave the village and continue for individual self-sustainability.

Tiny House Builders Near Me

Are you wondering what builders are near me? You don’t need to research because Great Lakes Tiny Homes offers multiple tiny house designs with nationwide delivery to find your dream home.

Moreover, Great Lakes Tiny Homes is an RV Industry Association (RVIA) builder. Passionate about the highest production standards and rigorous compliance with building, safety, and regulatory rules for tiny homes.

Do I Need a Certified Builder?

Yes, you do.

Dealing with a builder who has earned RVIA certification, such as Great Lakes Tiny Homes, guarantees that the tiny house you purchase is produced in compliance with laws and regulations.

It also provides safety since it guarantees that the materials in your house are high-quality, long-lasting, and safe.

Working with a registered builder also offers access to insurance coverage and financing choices. Your tiny house is guaranteed to be a safe and livable space provided it complies with RVIA requirements.


Can You Make a Tiny House in New Mexico Your Main Residence?

Yes! In New Mexico, you can make a tiny house your permanent residence.

Please keep in mind that local laws and ordinances may differ. The best action is to find out whether your tiny home complies with all applicable laws and regulations, including inspection requirements, and contact your local zoning and authorities.

Work with certified builders to enjoy the perks of simpler, more sustainable living in New Mexico.

It is illegal to construct a tiny house in your backyard in the majority of New Mexico. The state’s adoption of IRC Appendix Q is the cause of this. 

It is related to small homes that are used as single-family residences and includes all the features required for one or more people to live freely, such as a fixed structure with areas for sleeping, dining, cooking, and using the restroom.

Is It Permissible to Build Mobile Homes in New Mexico?

Whether you can live in a tiny home on wheels full-time in New Mexico depends on the city or county live in. Some communities enable tiny homes on wheels (THOWs), while others do not authorize THOWs at all. Some designate THOWs as recreational vehicles throughout the state.

Contacting your local government is the best approach to learning about the regulations for tiny homes on wheels. The precise rules and regulations about mobile small houses in the city or county where you reside should be disclosed to you by your representatives.


In New Mexico, tiny houses are legal and recognized by the state building code, which adopted Appendix Q of the 2018 International Residential Code. This appendix defines a tiny house as a single-family home of 400 square feet or less, excluding lofts, and relaxes some general code standards for such homes.

However, different counties and cities in New Mexico may have zoning and permitting requirements for tiny houses, especially if they are on wheels or in mobile home parks. Therefore, anyone who wants to build or live in a tiny house in New Mexico should research and contact their local authorities before starting their project.

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